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Rod At Work
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Flattening a server to install Windows 2008 R2

I've got a 2850, which did have Windows 2003 R2 installed on it, but the people who set it up did a terrible job of partitioning the HD.  (The C: drive has only 10 GB of space, which it ran out of a long time ago!)  I'd like to flatten the machine and start over again, installing Windows 2008 R2.  However, my question is really a noobie question; how do I delete the partitions so that I can have just 1 partition, and install 2008 R2 into that?

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7 Replies
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Flattening a server to install Windows 2008 R2

Hello Rod

If it is simply a partition issue then you can just boot to the 2008 DVD. On one of the first couple of screens during installation there are options for manipulation the partitions. You may need to select more/advanced options on that screen. From there you can delete all partitions and format.

If the drive space was split up using virtual disks on a RAID controller then you will have to delete and recreate the arrays to expand the space. Do you know if a RAID controller is being used? If so, do you know what the RAID configuration is?

Thanks

Daniel Mysinger
Dell EMC, Enterprise Engineer

Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO

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theflash1932
6 Indium

Re: Flattening a server to install Windows 2008 R2

Here is what I would do:

1. Boot to CTRL-M, clear the configuration, then create your RAID array (then Initialize it).  (This will give you a clean base to start with - and wipe out existing partitions.)

2. Download the RAID driver:

www.dell.com/.../poweredge-2850

3. Run to extract the files, then put files on a USB flash drive.

4. Boot to your 2008R2 DVD.

5. When Windows says it can't find any drives to install to, click on Load Driver link.

6. Browse to driver on USB, then select it.

7. When Windows shows you the available disks to install to now, there should be no partitions - just one chunk of Unallocated space.

8. Click Install to install to the Unallocated space (Windows will create two partitions automatically ... one for the boot/recovery files, and one for your C: drive ... unless you know what you are doing, leave them as Windows creates them).

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Rod At Work
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Re: Flattening a server to install Windows 2008 R2

If it was split up using virtual disks on the RAID controller, then I have no idea what to do, or even how to know about it.

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: Flattening a server to install Windows 2008 R2

If it was split up using virtual disks on the RAID controller, then I have no idea what to do, or even how to know about it.

When you turn the server on do you see an option to press CTL M to enter the RAID controller BIOS? How many hard drives are in the server? If you have the CTL M option then enter the controller BIOS and find out what information you can from in there.

Daniel Mysinger
Dell EMC, Enterprise Engineer

Get support on Twitter @DellCaresPRO

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theflash1932
6 Indium

Re: Flattening a server to install Windows 2008 R2

I'm not sure I understand your question Rod ... if there is no data you wish to save, then wipe everything out in the controller and create a new RAID array (also called a Virtual Disk).

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Rod At Work
1 Nickel

Re: Flattening a server to install Windows 2008 R2

Correct, there is nothing on that old server I wish to save.  I thought there might be, but after turning it off for about a month we've not found anything we want/need off of it.

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theflash1932
6 Indium

Re: Flattening a server to install Windows 2008 R2

Yeah, then just wipe out the configuration and create a new RAID array.

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